Four Ways to Build a Better Relationship With Your Boss
Does your boss always give you the most tedious assignments on a project? Does he or she dismiss or even ignore your suggestions at work? Do you typically only receive criticism, not praise—even though you know you’re good at what you do?
If any of this sounds familiar, then you’re probably already thinking about getting a different job. However, it’s never a good idea to leave a job simply because you and your boss aren’t on the same page. Here’s why: Throughout your career, you’re bound to encounter people you don’t get along with. If you keep avoiding them, you’ll miss out on opportunities. You could even earn the reputation of being difficult to work with—and that would seriously hamper your career advancement.
So instead of leaving your employer, try building a better relationship with your boss. The following tips can help:
- Empathize. Your boss is responsible for your entire team. That means he or she is frequently under a lot of pressure. Try to put things in perspective, and realize that not everyone responds to stress in the same way. Chances are that your manager’s attitude towards you isn’t intended to be hurtful or disrespectful.
- Communicate effectively. Are you communicating clearly with your boss? According to J.T. O’Donnell in her Inc. article “7 Warning Signs Your Boss Disrespects You,” a disconnect in communication styles is usually the root cause of communication breakdown. Determine what your manager’s communication style is and adjust yours accordingly. You’ll soon see improvement in how he or she responds to you.
- Provide solutions. If you run into issues when you’re working on something, don’t go to your manager until you have a solution in mind. This will improve his or her perception of your abilities and enthusiasm, which makes you a stronger team player.
- Be friendly and find common ground. It helps to be friendly and find common ground. This can be as simple as asking your manager about his or her weekend or mentioning how much you enjoyed a professional workshop you both attended.
If your boss is a good manager, he or she will notice your efforts to build a better relationship and respond positively. That will prove to both you and your employer that your outstanding interpersonal skills allow you to adapt to challenging work environments. And over the course of your career, that could be one of your most important work-related achievements.